On March 27, 2019, the Halton Region Health Department reported the majority of Halton is a risk area for ticks carrying the bacteria which causes Lyme disease. This is a result of active tick surveillance (tick dragging) conducted by the Health Department in 2018 and Halton has been included in Public Health Ontario’s updated estimated risk area map.
“Halton Region supports the health and well-being of all residents,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “Like many municipalities throughout Ontario, most of Halton is considered a risk area for ticks and Lyme disease. While the risk remains low, residents should be aware of areas where ticks may be present and how to protect themselves and their families from tick bites.”
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, which are usually present in wooded, brushy or tall grass areas.
Residents throughout the region should continue to take precautions to prevent tick bites when enjoying the outdoors. Here are some steps to protect your health:
- If possible, avoid known tick areas (such as wooded, brushy or tall grass areas) and stay on trails when outdoors.
- Cover up by wearing long sleeved, light coloured shirts and pants with tightly woven fabric.
- Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks to keep ticks away from your bare skin.
- Wear shoes that cover your entire foot, avoiding sandals or open shoes.
- Spray clothing and exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin.
- Check your clothing and body for any ticks after spending time outdoors, especially around the groin, armpits and hairline. Carefully remove any ticks from yourself or a family member.
- Check your pets regularly for ticks as they could carry ticks inside your home.
The Halton Region Health Department conducts tick surveillance in the spring and fall. Residents should continue to submit ticks to the Health Department for identification.
To learn more about tick bite prevention, signs and symptoms of Lyme disease and the Health Department’s tick surveillance, visit the Region’s Lyme disease web page on halton.ca.
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves 570,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.